In the last two games, Georgia quarterback Joe Cox has thrown for 576 yards and seven touchdowns, while opponents have totaled 908 yards and 78 points.
It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing season for Bulldogs’ fans. But I’m assuming some of you find a certain comfort in once against being able to focus blame on defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. I mean, it makes things so much simpler, don’t you think? And now you don’t have to dump all your issues on a college kid (Cox).
Logic says Georgia can’t possibly maintain the scoring pace it set in the last two wins over South Carolina (41-37) and Arkansas (52-41). Yes, the ability to rally and pull out games in the second half says something about the resilience of this team. It certainly says something about Cox and his ability to handle the job.
But let’s not get too carried away. South Carolina and Arkansas are not SEC powers. Georgia likely will not be able to put up similar numbers against LSU, Tennessee (which certainly must be taken seriously from a defensive standpoint) and Florida.Despite the fact the defense has allowed seven touchdowns and seven field goals in the last two games (see chart below), coach Mark Richt continues to cover up for Martinez.
He initially said Sunday night of the defense, “I’m not real excited about it, but I do know we have an opportunity to continue to improve.” But he seemed to put more blame on the Dogs’ turnover ratio, adding, “We have put our defense in some very short field situations — eight times in three ballgames.”
But that only tells part of the story from the Arkansas game. The Razorbacks scored two early touchdowns off fumbles and another following a long kickoff return. But in the second half, they scored on four of their first five possessions (two touchdowns, two field goals) and all were standard drives.
Bottom line: It looks like the strong defensive performance in the Oklahoma State game was an aberration. If Georgia can’t turn it around, that’s on Martinez. Again.
What Georgia’s defense has allowed in last two games
Opponent Yds TDs FGs Quarterback C-A Yds TD Int.
South Carolina 423 2 5 Steven Garcia 31-53 313 2 1
Arkansas 485 5 2 Ryan Mallett 21-39 408 5 0